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Criteria for 
Jury Evaluation 


The project must exemplify the coordination of architectural and 
engineering disciplines with special emphasis placed on the facility 
having met building program requirements. 


The design or program must set exemplary standards or guidelines 
that can be used as a model for future Postal Service design activities. 


The project must have met its construction cost limit and been 
designed in accordance with life-cycle cost analysis principles. 


The project must demonstrate aesthetic sensibility, be compatible 
with its environment, reflect a positive presence for the Postal 
Service, and exemplify a commitment to lasting design values in its 
architectural elements, materials, finishes, and landscaping. 


The project must demonstrate a high level of technical and 
functional proficiency in all aspects of performance. 


The project must have been completed within the agreed design 
and construction time schedule. 



Celebrating A Decade of Design Excellence 

Sponsored jointly by the United States 
Postal Service and the Design Arts Program 
of the National Endowment for the Arts 

Message from the 

National Endowment for the Arts 

Postal Service facilities are a vital link in a communication network 
that serves every household and business in the United States. The 
quality of these facilities is a major determinant of the quality of 
service provided by the Postal Service and thus a visible measure of 
the commitment of the Postal Service to serving its customers. 

Good design — whether it be the architecture of a building, the 
interior plan of an office, or the graphics of a publication — can be an 
important tool in helping a federal agency achieve its mission. The 
Design Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, 
through its Federal Design Improvement Program, is committed to 
assisting federal agencies achieve the highest standards of design. 
This program, initiated by President Nixon in 1972 and supported 
by each successive president, helps agencies like the Postal Service 
use public resources in a cost-effective way. With more than 35,000 
post offices across the country and a public investment of more than 
510 billion, our postal facilities directly affect every American. 
As such, it is important that these facilities reflect the best public 
design possible. 

The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to join with the 
Postal Service in recognizing those individuals in the public and 
private sectors who have made outstanding contributions to the 
design of Postal Service facilities, and to highlight on the following 
pages these successes as standards for future work. 

John E. Frohnmayer 


Mina W. Berryman 

Acting Director 
Design Arts Program 

Message from the 

United States Postal Service 


The goal of the United States Postal Services nationwide building 
program is to design, construct, and maintain facilities that are 
functionally efficient, cost-effective, fit well into the community and 
represent the highest possible design standards. Postal buildings 
serve as a reminder of the Postal Services commitment to provide 
a prompt and reliable universal mail delivery system which binds 
the country together and contributes to the enhancement of the 
national well-being. 

The interest and support of the National Endowment for the 
Arts in pursuing excellence in the design and construction of 
postal buildings reflects mutual awareness and aspiration of the 
Endowment and the Postal Service. The guidance and support of 
the Endowment have been pivotal to this initial program of awards 
and will be a contributing factor in the coming years. 

The Facilities Department of the Postal Service administers the 
building programs and provides the necessary guidance for the most 
efficient use of all available resources. Postal buildings not only 
provide the needed housing for customers and employees but are a 
visible representation of the Postal Service's determination to 
provide mail services and products of the highest quality. 

The postal projects across the country selected as award winners 
represent benchmarks of quality by which future designs can 
be measured. 

Stanley W. Smith 

Assistant Postmaster General 

John N. Wiernicki 


Office of Design and Construction 

Report of the Jury 

Left to right 

J. Robert Wilier, FAIA, is founder and 
CEO of The Hillier Group architects, 
planners, interior designers, and construc- 
tion managers with offices in Princeton and 
Philadelphia. The firm is the recipient of 
more than 140 design awards in its 24-year 
design history. 

Robert. T. Coles, FAIA, is president of 
Robert Tray n ham Coles, Architect, PC, 
with offices in Buffalo and New York City. 
He is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of 
Architecture at Carnegie-Mellon University 
in Pittsburgh. 

Deborah K. Dietsch is editor-in-chief of 
Architecture and was formerly executive 
editor of Architectural Record. She has 
had prior experience in private practice and 
holds bachelors and master s degrees in 

Leslie P. Tonkin is principal in Tonkin/ 
Hoyne Inc. , P. C in Seattle with more than 
18 years experience in private practice. The 
firm is noted for the design of low-income 
housing and historic building restoration. 

Exra D. Ehrenkrantz is president of The 
Ehrenkrantz Group in New York City. His 
work ranges from management systems and 
building technology to a specialty in building 
technology, public policy matters and energy. 

The award winners we selected are excellent examples of how 
architects have managed to surpass the constraints of low budgets 
and standard programs to create buildings related to their particular 
surroundings. They clearly stand out from the 120 entries to 
this competition. Most of the post offices we reviewed are cold, 
uninviting, and have lost their stature in the community as impor- 
tant public buildings. The need to accomplish functional efficiency 
on a tight budget requires the design architect of a post office to 
follow the assigned program to a much greater extent than other 
public building types, such as schools, courthouses, and libraries. 
Yet to be more competitive with other mail delivery companies, the 
Postal Service must encourage the design of facilities that are warm, 
inviting, and responsive to the user both inside and out. Several 
award-winning projects, such as the retail guidelines and Kit of 
Parts, indicate that the Postal Service is aware of this need and is 
taking at least the first steps to remedy the problem. 

More significant than the design of individual buildings in 
this competition is the new direction taken by the Postal Service 
in developing its properties for different uses and higher densities 
in urban locations. The Rincon Center in San Francisco is one 
example of this trend, and we commend its redevelopment of an 
existing post office into a mixed-use complex, including low-income 
housing and new commercial uses. The courthouse interior in 
Denver also revealed an innovative approach adopted by the Postal 
Service in meticulously restoring an existing building for 
community benefit. However, the jury was disappointed that so few 
award submittals addressed solutions to historic preservation and 
adaptive reuse, given the fact that the Postal Service owns vast 
numbers of historic landmarks that are valued within their 
communities. The jury recommends that the Postal Service 
institute a program to evaluate how its historic properties be 
restored, redeveloped, or reused. 

Another new program cited by jury was the Kit of Parts. Although 
the jury questioned the site responsiveness of the individual build- 
ing design produced by this computer-generated program, we lauded 
its systematic approach to elevating the quality of design for such 
a large number of buildings. We commend the Postal Service for its 
willingness to experiment with such a controversial design program. 

As reflected by this first awards program, the role of design within 
the Postal Service is clearly becoming more important as the 
agency embarks upon new programs involving private develop- 
ment, systems innovation, and its patronage of this honor awards 
program. With the increasing emphasis on design, it is very impor- 
tant that the Postal Service establish its goals and objectives in 
enhancing the way in which the post office relates to the specific 
needs of a community. Given today's competitive environment, the 
Postal Service has the opportunity to use design as one of the key 
resources by which it stakes out its place and role within society. 

Honor Award for Design Excellence 

O'Hare Airport Mail Facility 
Chicago, Illinois 

This facility at one of the busiest 
airports in the world processes 
600, 000 pounds of domestic, 
military, and international mail 
each day. The sheer size and 
complexity of the building— nine 
acres under one roof, the need to 
accommodate airport expansion 
plans, and the fast-track design 
and construction requirements 
made strong coordination efforts 
between the Postal Service, the 
airport authorities, and the 
architect essential. The result is a 
functional, efficient, cost-effective, 
industrial building that uses 
exterior concrete forms and excep- 
tional detailing to provide a 
high - visibility, h igh -quality 
facility at this important 
international location. 

Jury Citation 

It's difficult to describe an 
airport mail facility as abso- 
lutely elegant, but this build- 
ing is — from the detailing of 
the lobby to the excellent 
choice of materials used 
throughout. At 390,()()() square 
feet, it's quite large and 

essentially comprises a big 
box; yet its powerful entrance 
and low-cost, precast concrete 
cladding are skillfully manipu- 
lated to give the structure 
human scale and proportion. 
Well-organized, the facility 
clearly distinguishes public 
and private functions. While 
the lobby exudes a refined 
character with elegant finishes 
and light fixtures, the work- 
room is treated more straight- 
forwardly with exposed 
mechanical systems and 
machinery. Judging from the 
orderly way the services are 
laid out, from ductwork to 
lighting, the architects were 
obviously on top of every 
aspect of this project. 


Tengcc Associates, Inc., 

Chicago, IL 
USPS, Office of Design 

and Construction, 

Washington, DC 
USPS, Facilities Service Center, 

Chicago, IL 

Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Old National Highway Branch 
College Park, Georgia 

To break open the rectangular 
form of this 25, 000 square-foot 
building, the architect uses a 
sweeping, structural arch to 
create a transparent, expansive 
public entrance. The vaulted 
lobby roof, skylights, and cleresto- 
ries in the work area fill the entire 
interior with natural light for 
customers and workers. Located 
in one of Atlanta's busiest 
commercial areas, the building 
has a clear and inviting presence. 
It upholds the tradition of the post 
office as a place of civic prominence 
and community focus. 

Jury Citation 

This post office breaks away 
from the usual rectilinear 
solution with a wonderful long 
span arch that carries a vaulted 
roof over the lobby and joins 
up with a highly articulated 
box at the rear of the building. 
It is a refreshing design made 
up of quite simple elements, 
whose whole is greater 
than the sum of its parts. A 
muscular, three-dimensional 
character is strongly expressed 
and includes a feature the post 
office often tries to suppress — 
visual security galleries 
suspended over the work space 
that are articulated on the 
exterior. This building makes 
you want to go inside to see 
what makes it tick. 


Nix Mann Viehman Architects, 

Atlanta, GA 
USPS, Facilities Service Office, 

Atlanta, GA 

Honor Award for Design Excellence 

White Rock Station 
Dallas, Texas 

This 12, 000 square-foot post office 
is located on a two-acre site at the 
intersection of a commercial road 
and a residential street. Through 
the use of low-scale massing, 
brick detailing, screen walls, 
sensitive landscaping, and open 
spaces adjacent to the nearby 
homes, the architect minimized 
the impact of the facility and 
overcame community opposition 
to its construction. Inside, natural 
lighting from clerestories in the 
workroom area provide postal 
employees with a pleasant, effi- 
cient working environment. The 
facility was completed in 1987. 

Jury Citation 

The jury liked this solution 
because it reflects the Postal 
Services new approach of 
inviting customers to use a 
facility at any hour, while still 
considering security. Glassing 

in the 24-hour lockbox space 
so that it can be observed from 
the street is very effective. The 
use of a transparent, curvilin- 
ear form to open up the public 
area is quite different from the 
traditional post office. The 
curved facade is achieved with 
simple construction parts and 
is refreshing in its departure 
from the usual boxy approach. 
The use of color to clearly 
separate the public area from 
the work spaces is a strong, 
simple design statement, and, 
in its own way, timeless. The 
site plan of this post office 
stood out from the other 
competition entries because it 
establishes a green space in the 
front of the building instead of 
having a parking lot right up 
against the building. From a 
planning standpoint, the abil- 
ity to introduce a curved shape 
into the work space is an 
important variation and one 
of the key elements to the 
success of the design. This was 
the only entry whose work- 
room wasn't a rectangle. 


Milton Powell 6c Partners, 

Dallas, TX 
USPS, Facilities Service Office, 

Dallas, TX 

Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Post Office 

Glendale Heights, Illinois 

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7^ 2-/, 000 square-foot post office 
located in a suburban, industrial 
park was designed to be seen at a 
distance by people travelling 
rapidly in their automobiles. The 
building uses color and repeated 
forms to achieve high visibility 
for the Postal Service. The red, 
white, blue, and yellow facade is 
carried inside to create an equally 
dynamic interior. The building 
is a highly inventive solution to 
achieving a positive identity in an 
area with few landmarks. 

Jury Citation 

This project is commended for 
its high overall level of design 
in concept and execution. 
The jury liked the way the 
designers took advantage of 
the building s location to 
create a strong image within 
an industrial park through 
brightly colored materials, roof 
projections, repeated triangu- 
lar forms, and an imaginatively 
patterned lobby. The building 
is so atypical for what a post 
office usually is, yet is instantly 
recognizable as a significant 
building in its setting. 
Patterned in a stars and stripes 
motif, it obviously is designed 
to represent an American flag 
and is exquisitely detailed in 
an industrial high-tech vocabu- 
lary. Instead of concentrating 
design features on just one part 
of the structure, the architect 
maintained a high level of craft 
and detailing throughout. This 
post office is pure joy. 


Ross Barney+Jankowski, Inc., 

Chicago, IL 
USPS, Facilities Service Center, 

Chicago, IL 

Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Post Office 
Julian, California 

This post office captures the spirit 
of its locale— a turn-ofthe- 
century gold mining set tie merit — 
and has become a civic anchor for 
this rural California community. 
The structure was sited to 
reinforce the existing streetscape of 
the town s primary thoroughfare. 
The front door faces the street 
under an extended porch with a 
fence reaching toward town. By 
taking the time to study the 
community and its history, the 
Postal Service has designed a 
facility that clearly exemplifies its 
policy of being a "good neighbor. " 

Jury Citation 

This is a marvelous design that 
echoes the character of a rural 
desert community, which until 
recently was fading into a 
ghost town. The false front of 
the post office sympathetically 
relates to its context and the 
Western vernacular of the 
existing buildings in an 
extremely effective way. The 
building strongly indicates that 
it is a post office but does so in 
a way that is compatible with 
its surroundings. 


Keniston 6c Mosher Architects, 

Inc., San Diego, CA 
USPS, Facilities Service Office, 

Los Angeles, CA 

Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Post Office 

Kings Mountain, North Carolina 

This new facility in Kings 
Mountain, NC, population 9, 713, 
perpetuates the historic image of 
the post office as a significant 
public landmark and center of 
community activity. Striking a 
balance between cost-conscious, 
functional space and grand, in vit- 
ing public architecture, this 
12,364 square-foot facility houses 
the functional postal operations in 
an efficient, brick box and 
provides a bold, classical colon- 
nade along the street. The result is 
a facility with visual prominence 
and strength on a modest budget. 

Jury Citation 

This design was typical of 
many entries in its frontal 
articulation of the public area 
of the post office and its simple 
treatment of the staff areas in 
the rear. The jury felt it was 
the best example of this 
characteristic separation of 
public and private functions in 
the competition. The building 
is designed to human scale, 
and effectively distinguishes 
public and staff areas. While 
the massive work area is 
treated as a plain box, the 
customer service area is greatly 
emphasized, treated as an 
elegantly detailed front porch 
related to the community. The 
architect achieved a high level 
of design with simple, low-cost 
elements: a concrete colon- 
nade, a fiberglass arch, and 
brick-enclosed box. 


The FWA Group, P.A. 

Charlotte, NC 
USPS, Facilities Service Office, 
Atlanta, GA 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Manhattan Vehicle Maintenance Facility 
New York, New York 

This bold, three-story building 
occupies an entire city block (3.3 
acres) near the Hudson River on 
the west side of New York City 's 
Chelsea neighborhood. It serves 
as a central fueling, washing, 
repair, and parking facility for 
650 postal vehicles. Constructed 
of reinforced concrete, the building 
takes part of its form from the 
piers and ships of its waterfront 
location. The exterior of the 
building is unified by a ribbon of 
red metal panels, surrounded by 
bands of dark gray louvers and 
white metal panels. Its horizontal 
lines and soft corners allude to 
the art deco facade of a nearby 
building. The overall design 
transforms an ordinary mainte- 
nance facility into a vibrant, 
high-quality building that 
enhances the neighborhood and 
the image of the Postal Service. 

Jury Citation 

On 11th Avenue in Manhattan, 
near the Hudson Riverfront, 
sits this fantastic building 
that recalls an ocean liner 
in the vertical expression of 
its mechanical services and 
streamlined profile. Strong 
and inviting, its composition of 
vehicle ramps, curve-edged 
volumes, and mechanical 
stacks is arranged so that the 
building does not appear mas- 
sive on the street. 

The high-tech design is 
unified by a consistency of 
materials, detailing, and color 
that are three-dimensionally 
considered and create a real 
sense of excitement in the 
neighborhood. For such a 
mundane building type, this 
facility celebrates its purpose 
with very strong forms and 
proportions, almost to the 
point of monumentality. 


Haines LundbergVVaehler, 

New York, NY 
USPS, Office of Design 

and Construction, 

Washington, DC 
USPS, Facilities Service Center, 

Windsor, CT 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Northside Station 
Palm Desert, California 

The location of this facility in the 
harsh, low-desert climate of the 
Coachella Valley of southern 
California significantly influ- 
enced its design. A durable 
concrete masonry wall system, 
white membrane roof and metal 
trellis help offset natural heat 
gains. Exterior masonry in earth 
colors and stepped, blue trellis 
reflect the jagged mountain 
background. This 32, 000 square- 
foot post office was completed in 
1989. It replaces an overcrowded, 
older facility and provides 
customer retail services as well 
as local carrier operations for 
the community. 

Jury Citation 

This building is interesting in 
the way it takes a small 
standardized form and breaks 
it up from the streetscape into a 
series of terraces related to the 
surrounding landscape. The 
striking stepped profile of the 

building strongly echoes the 
mountains behind it. 

The introduction of natural 
light into the post office 
through skylights is an excel- 
lent feature, which draws the 
public into the building. A 
gentle transition of scale is 
achieved between the front 
and the higher bays of the 
back. The building seems 
genuinely user-friendly. Its use 
of split-face concrete block in 
warm colors is very sympa- 
thetic to its desert setting. The 
resulting combination of color 
texture, and materials pro- 
duces a very fine design. 



Architects, Inc., 

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 
USPS, Facilities Service Office. 

Los Angeles, CA 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Frankford Station 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

The Frankford Station Post Office 
serves customers within walking 
distance of a major commercial 
district as well as customers 
arriving by automobile. On a 
very small site, it replaces two 
smaller nearby facilities in an 
older, mixed-use community. This 
new post office of 22, 000 square 
feet was completed in 1988. It is 
massed into three zones of activity 
using forms that reflect the 
surrounding community. The 
result is a post office that creates 
a positive civic presence, adding 
vitality to a deteriorating 

Jury Citation 

This post office celebrates 
the typical Philadelphia street- 
scape in form and materials. 
Clearly separated into two 
structures — one for the public 
and one for the staff, the 
building breaks down the scale 
of the program to relate well 
to its context. It is designed 
to sensitively relate to the 
immediate neighborhood in 
echoing the gabled form of an 
adjacent church. Although the 
entrance is located on a side 
elevation, the building care- 
fully maintains the existing 
street wall. 

Inside the building, the 
relationsnip between work 
spaces and public areas is well 
defined. The lobby is not the 
usual flat-ceilinged, antiseptic 
space but a skillfully detailed, 
low-tech combination of color- 
ful steel ducts and lighting. 
The architecture throughout 
is very carefully considered; 
the work room lighting, in 
particular, is excellent. The 
building seems good for its 
neighborhood and promises 
to generate more local interest 
in restoration and new con- 
struction in the area. 


Agoos/Lovera Architects, 

Philadelphia, PA 
USPS, Facilities Service Center, 

Philadelphia, PA 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 
Adaptive Reuse 

Mt. Pleasant Station 

New Bedford, Massachusetts 

Originally constructed as an 
automobile dealership, this build- 
ing was converted into a post 
office in 1987. Located on a busy 
commercial strip, the building 
successfully competes for visibility 
by using a bold, red sign across the 
front to form a large entry canopy 
that also serves to shelter custom- 
ers. Existing features that were 
retained include exterior and 
interior walls, openings, bath- 
rooms, and the sprinkler system. 
This 30, 000 square-foot project 
is an excellent example of adaptive 
reuse on a tight budget. 

Jury Citation 

This adaptive reuse of an 
existing industrial warehouse 
is a controversial project 
because of its difficult site 
on a highway. Located on a 
commercial strip, this post 
office is surrounded by gas 

stations, chain stores, and fast 
food outlets. We applaud this 
project because the architect 
understood the nature of the 
site and succeeded in establish- 
ing a strong, graphic statement 
that competes with its neigh- 
bors. Adapting an existing 
metal shed was difficult to 
tackle, but the architect did an 
excellent job of creating a clear 
entrance and good interior 
spaces. A bright red sign 
undeniably signals that this 
building is a post office. 


McKinnell McKinnell & 
Taylor, Inc., Norwell, MA 

USPS, Facilities Service Office, 
Burlington, MA 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 
Energy Conservation 

Post Office 

St. Johns, Arizona 


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This modest facility in rural, 
northeast Arizona is constructed 
of durable, low-maintenance 
materials and is designed to be 
energy efficient. It uses a passive 
solar energy wall to provide 55 to 
70 percent of the daytime heating 
requirements and a portion of the 
nighttime heat load. The building 
faces east to protect customers 
from the prevailing northwest- 
erly winds and to use the morning 
winter sun to melt ice and snow. 
Man-made ear-then hills on the 
north and west sides of the 
building insulate the building 
and reduce energy consumption. 
Building overhangs allow heat 
gain during the winter and shade 
the glass in the summer. South- 
facing clerestory windows allow 
light into the workroom that 
accounts for almost half of the 
buildings interior space. The 
windows virtually eliminate the 
need for artificial lighting in the 
workroom and public areas dur- 
ing the day. 

Section A 


Jury Citation 

At a time of great concern 
about energy conservation, 
this design produces a signifi- 
cant structure that shows what 
can be done about energy 
conservation in a very modest 
structure. The post office 
happens to be in Arizona, but 
it would be equally effective in 
any southwestern climate. 
And beyond energy conserva- 
tion, the building presents a 
very handsome design of 
concrete block and cedar that 
sits well in the landscape. 
The active energy-saving 
elements are not treated as 
superficial additions but are 
truly integrated with the 
structure. They are tools used 
by the architect to enhance 
the design. 

Section B 

Section C 

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Michael Shelor, Architects, 

Phoenix, AZ 
USPS, Facilities Service Center, 

San Bruno, CA 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Courtroom A, U.S. District Court 
Denver, Colorado 

Courtroom A, located in Denver s 
Main Post Office, was returned to 
its original 1910 purpose and 
character. The space, which was 
converted into an auditorium in 
J 965, now is used by the U. S. 
District Court. The courtroom 
and support areas are located in a 
1910 neoclassical building that is 
on the National Register of 
Historic Places. This project 
represents the commitment of the 
Postal Service to preserving and, 
where necessary, restoring its 
historic public landmarks for 
modern-day use. 

Jury Citation 

In this project, the post office 
doesn't occupy the whole 
building but acts as a landlord 
for a number of different uses. 
The jury commended the 
Postal Service's role in recog- 
nizing the potential benefit of 

this historic structure and 
maintaining its original use as 
a courtroom. In renovating 
several spaces in the building, 
the architect managed to cre- 
ate an impressive interior 
while respecting the original 
design of the historic room. 
The renovation of this court- 
room is consistent to the point 
where it is difficult to tell 
what is old and what is new. It 
hangs together magnificently. 
We commend the architect's 
regard for the original fabric 
without contemporary reinter- 
pretation. The furnishings 
are very well done, and the 
selection of chairs, tables, and 
finishes is equal to the quality 
of the architecture. 


Hoover Berg Desmond, 

Denver, CO 
USPS, Facilities Service Office, 

Denver, CO 


Honor Award for Design Excellence 

Rincon Center Station 
San Francisco, California 

When the historic Rincon Annex 
Station was converted into a 
lobby for the new, mixed-use 
Rincon Center, a new 14, 000 
square-foot postal station was 
constructed on the ground floor 
of the complex. The goals were 
to maintain the historic character 
of the building, and construct a 
quality, state-of-the-art post office. 
The station provides 3, 000 
lockboxes, ten service counters, a 
philatelic center, and museum 
display along with workroom 

areas, lookout galleries, and 
basement loading dock. The 
project was completed in J 989. 

Jury Citation 

This project was notable for its 
excellent internal organization 
and elegant finishes. Located 
in a section of a redeveloped 
historic post office, the new 
postal facilities required 
extremely long corridors. 
The designer scaled down the 
linear spaces using elements 
of color, pattern, lighting, 
and spatial variation so the 
resulting rooms don't seem like 
corridors, but more like fine 
interiors. Each of the post 
offices spaces — lockbox area, 
retail center, workroom — are 
distinguished by a different 
character. The public nature of 
the lockbox area, for example, 
is accentuated by a barrel 
vaulted ceiling. Overall, the 
design of light fixtures and 
finishes is of high quality. This 
project is a good blend of 
modern materials and historic 


Werner & Sullivan, 
San Francisco, CA 

USPS, Facilities Sen ice Center. 
San Bruno, CA 


Honor Award for Program Excellence 
Community Development 

Rincon Center 

San Francisco, California 

Seeking to save one of its historic 
properties and to maximize long- 
term income, the Postal Service 
developed its Rincon Annex postal 
facility from a mail-sorting 
facility and parking lot to a 
dynamic, mixed-use project inte- 
grating office, retail, and housing 
with a one-acre open, public space. 
The project helped rejuvenate the 
area and reestablish a sense of 
neighborhood. The project took 
five years to complete, requiring 
extensive cooperation among fed- 
eral, state, and local authorities. 
The project represents a well- 
balanced combination of social 
responsibility and financial acu- 
men by the Postal Service. 

Jury Citation 

Although we had reservations 
about the actual design of this 
building, we were impressed 
with the Postal Service's ability 
to capitalize on an opportunity 
to use an urban site for a social 
purpose. Working with a devel- 
oper, the Postal Service con- 
ceived a programmatic mix for 
this project that included 
residential and commercial 
uses, including the adaptive 
reuse of a historic post office. 

Part of the development 
establishes a major housing 
project in central San Francis 
of which 50 percent is target 
for low- and middle-income 
families. The goal was to bri 
these families back into the 
city to take advantage of the 
strong cultural heritage of 
the place. 

We were delighted with tl 
Postal Service's recognition 
that it has sites and buildings 
downtown areas that have 
great potential for improve- 
ment in terms of converting 
them to highest and best use 
The fact that the agency is 
working with developers to 
increase the financial and 
social value of appropriate si 
is a concept we support. 
Future collaborations betwe 
the Postal Service, architect: 
and developers should be 
carefully examined and 
explored to their full potenti 


Rincon Center Associates 

Perini Land and 

Development Company, 

San Francisco, CA 
USPS, Office of Real Estate, 

Washington, DC 


Honor Award for Program Excellence 
Research and Guidelines 

Design Aesthetics and Retail Design Guidelines 




A Design Aesthetics and Postal 
Image Study was undertaken to 
determine the publics and postal 
employees ' image of postal facilities, 
whether that image could better 
support company goals of service 
and profitability, and the cost 
benefits of various design changes. 
The study led to the publication of 
the Retail Design Guidelines, 
which provide effective guidance 
for the renovation and design of 
postal lobbies. These guidelines 
are now in use for new postal 
lobby construction. 


Sta "sWU d ction Details ^S^.^ 


Vers '°" '.0; May , , 

Jury Citation 

At time when the Postal 
Service is competing with 
other sources of mail delivery 
in this country', the agency 
recognizes the need to improve 
the quality of the typical post 
office. This study was an 
obvious effort toward ensuring 
that future post offices would 
be more pleasant and user- 
friendly spaces. The report 
was very well organized and 
presented with photographs 
and graphics that appeal to 
architects and users alike. 

We applaud the guidelines 
for their general recommenda- 
tions that, while championing 
certain design features, still 
leave room for intelligent 
improvisation. The research 
provides a very simple, clear, 
and direct set of guideline 
suggestions and checklists 
that, if used effectively, will 
result in directly addressing 
a failure that appeared in a 
large number of the competi- 
tion entries. 


Jay Farbstein & 
Associates, Inc., 
San Luis Obispo, ( \ 

USPS, Office of Design 
and Construction, 
Washington, 1 K' 



Program Development 

Kit of Parts 

The Kit of Parts program uses 
computer-based "building blocks" 
to design new post offices of 8, 400 
to 35, 000 net square feet. These 
blocks include "workroom, admin- 
istration, lobby and box lobby, 
carrier vestibule, and support 
function areas. By using the 
blocks and a computer-aided 
drafting (CAD) system, the basic 
plan for a post office may be 
arranged and rearranged to suit 
specific site needs. Each of the 
blocks has been planned in a 
variety of sizes to provide 
flexibility in meeting the needs 
of the local postmaster and 
community. The architect- 
engineer, using a CAD system, 
can quickly create complete work- 
ing drawings for a new facility. 
This new approach has reduced 
design time an average of 
67 percent from conventional 

Jury Citation 

The Postal Serv ice is faced 
with a vast building program 
that includes many small post 
offices built on a variety of 
different sites to meet very 
critical functions. The jury's 
citation of the Kit of Parts 
program is based on the 
recognition that the Postal 
Service must deal with the 
problems of managing such a 
large building program in a 
systematic way, while taking 
into account freedom for 
design, the ability to respond 
to local context, and local 
means of construction. 

We believe that the process 
started by the Kit of Parts 
must continue and that future 
development must pay more 
attention to efficiency of con- 
struction and a much higher 
degree of design flexibility and 
variation. We hope that the 
program s assurance of func- 
tional success in the deliver)' of 
buildings and the time saved 
on programmatic organization 
can be redeployed towards the 
design process so that a 
post office better relates to its 
community and environment. 
Site-specific, climatic, and 
regional differences must be 
taken into account. One 
suggested way of achieving 
such regional variation is 
to give more autonomy to 
regional administrators to fine 
tune the design of the Kit of 
Parts facilities in order to make 
the post office more visually 
enticing to customers, and 
thus, more competitive with 
other delivery systems. 

Such a new and experimen- 
tal program undertaken by a 
governmental agency is to 
be highly commended. We 
encourage the Postal Service 
to continue its evaluation of 
this program. 


JMGR Inc., Memphis, TN 
USPS, Facilities Service Center, 
Memphis, TN 


Photo Credits 


Sam Tsunoda 


Steinkamp/Ballogg Chicago 


Blackmon/YVinters Inc. 


Barry Rustin 


Sandra Williams 


Rick Alexander 


Paul Warchol 


Fred Daly 


Peter Olson 


Bob Mikrut 


Michael Reese Much 


R. Greg Hursley, Inc. 


Colin McRae 


Whittaker Photography 

The United States Postal Service 
wishes to thank all of you who 
submitted entries. Your efforts 
help improve the quality of our 
buildings and the communities 
they serve. 

This publication was produced 
under a cooperative agreement 
between Thomas B. Grooms and 
the Design Arts Program of the 
National Endowment for the Arts 

November L990